1. Bolivia’s San Pedro Prison: in which inmates are homeowners
The 1,500 inmates at this prison are required to pay for their stay – roaming free within the walls alongside the some 200 children who live here. The streets are lined with food stalls for those who dislike prison food, and many inmates hold down jobs within the jail in order to pay for their accommodations – working as food vendors, doing laundry or repairing appliances. In their spare time, prisoners can make use of billiards tables or play football on organized teams.
San Pedro looks nothing like any jail house you’ve ever seen – there are no locked cells with barred windows, and no armed guards. Instead, the prison is divided into 8 sections which range from squalid to luxurious and which cost between $1,000 and $1,500 for the duration of a prisoner’s stay. The police never set foot inside this prison. Inmates are self-governed, each sector electing its’ own representative to help resolve any conflicts which might arise. Despite this, there is an average of 4 deaths per month reported inside the prison. And tourists are no longer permitted a peek at San Pedro because of the flourishing cocaine trade taking place within its walls!